‘Odisha govt to transfer Lord Jagannath’s funds from pvt to nationalised bank’

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Tuesday informed the state Assembly that it will withdraw fixed deposits of Rs 545 crore that has been kept in a private bank in the name of Lord Jagannath and keep it in a nationalised bank.

Law Minister Pratap Jena, while replying to a written question in the Assembly, said the decision regarding this was taken during a meeting of the Temple Management Committee.

The decision is significant as legislators cutting across party lines had expressed concern over the deposit of the funds in a private bank.

Jena said the funds will be transferred from the private bank on March 19 and March 30. The funds will be deposited in a nationalised bank which will give more rate of interest, he said.

The minister informed the House that Lord Jagannath has a cash deposit of Rs 626.5 crore including Rs 255.9 crore Sri Jagannath Temple Corpus Fund, Rs 99 crore in Sri Jagannath Temple Foundation Fund and Rs 271.6 crore in Sri Jagannath Temple Fund.

“The funds amounting to Rs 592 crore was deposited in a private bank as it gave more rate of interest. Rs 545 crore was kept as fixed deposits and Rs 47 crore as flexi-fixed deposits,” the minister said.

He said that the flexi-fixed deposits have been withdrawn from the private bank and after the tenures of the remaining Rs 545 crore fixed deposits end on March 19 and March 30, the amount will be withdrawn from the bank on the same days, he said.

The minister also informed the House that Lord Jagannath owns 60,426.94 acres of land spread over 24 districts in Odisha. Record of rights of 34,803.01 acres of land is with the possession of the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration, he said.

As many as 864 illegal encroachment cases have been filed to free 151.47 acres of land from encroachers in seven districts of the state under Section 16-A(1) of Shree Jagannath Temple Act, 1955, the minister added.


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